PEACE MISSION UPDATE: TEACHERS – LEADERS AND BEARERS OF HOPE TOWARDS BUILDING PEACEFUL COMMUNITIES
“As educators, we are the key in promoting peace to our learners… we hold the key in transforming them into holistic individuals that will soon be peace advocates in their own community.” I TEACH PEACE Champion, Raima Cabaro shares during the Formation Session for Teachers.
Davao City, January 30, 2018 – Teachers are deemed as one of the most important influences in a child’s life but rarely recognize their role in peace building. Teacher Raima Cabaro shares that she has realised that educators are the key in promoting peace. As individuals who are part of shaping the lives of their learners, they too have an important role to play in shaping learners to be proactive peace builders in their communities.
As Teach Peace Build Peace Movement (TPBPM) pursues the second year of their flagship model program, Schools and Communities of Peace Heroes Formation Program, six selected schools from Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, and Lanao del Norte were gathered for the Formation Session for teachers with the theme Teacher Leaders for Peace: Beginning a Journey of Creating a Community of I TEACH PEACE Champions. The schools selected were Pidsandawan Elementary School, Sapakan Central Elementary School, Balo-i Central Elementary School, Saguiaran Central Elementary School, Sugod Central Elementary School, and Camp Bagong Amai Pakpak Elementary School. Each school has been selected with the help of several partner institutions.
Each community and school has a different story and hold different experiences. The Formation Sessions are designed for the context of each community; it covered several topics that helped the participants cultivate inner peace and equip them will skills of conflict resolution, conflict transformation, proactive citizenship peace building, and resiliency. It has also covered topics that will help teachers on peaceful classroom management.
One of the esteemed speakers mentioned that they are not only peace educators but peaceful educators as well. I TEACH PEACE Champion, Mona Domato from one of the selected schools from Marawi City has shared that in being a Peace Champion,
“It is when we desire not only our own inner peace and happiness but as well as of others; it is when we dream and hope of an environment full of love, respect, and unity.”
This has proved that being in a conflict-affected area does not mean they have succumbed to the negative realities that armed conflict brings but rather they are bearers of positivity and hope for their community to make peace a reality, especially for children who are affected by different forms of conflict.
The participants have also gone through sessions on introspection and reflection. In these sessions, the participants were able to strengthen their relationship with their co-teachers as they learn deeper about each other. Their strengthened relationship has not only made them closer but also made them understand each other’s stories better and they have gained a better perception of their challenges as individuals and as a school and how they can transform these challenges into opportunities for transformation.
The Formation Session did not only aim to impart knowledge but more importantly build a community upholding the values of a family relationship; sharing to the participants that beyond making their schools conducive for learning, it is also necessary to make it a peaceable learning school and environment for learners; and a place where the school community can be proactive peace builders and pursue growth as one community.
Teachers have a great role to play beyond imparting academic learning, it is also to foster peaceful relationships among the members of the school community to build progressive and peaceful communities.
The journey does not stop after the Formation Session but rather it is just the beginning, together with the Kapatiran Schools. As each school and each teacher developed a Peace Education Development Plan, this will strengthen each schools’ commitment towards making Every Filipino Child and Youth a Peace Builder. One Child, One School, and One Community at a time.
Micah is one of the Program Associates of the Teach Peace Build Peace Movement.